By Stef Tschida
Linda Heath was in a bit of a career funk. Throughout her life, she’d always done the next right thing to continue advancing professionally, but somewhere along the ride up the corporate elevator, she’d lost her inspiration. Linda knew she wanted to do something different, but exploring the possibilities tended to get pushed down on her to-do list. Then one day, the company she was working for made her next career move for her—she was part of a massive layoff.
During that time, Linda met many wonderful people who were going through or had been through something similar. She also turned to trusted friends for tips and advice to successfully navigate the uncertainty. One of those people was Kathy Engen, a former career transition consultant. Kathy became an instrumental sounding board, helping Linda to hone her resume and interviewing skills.
Thanks to all the support she received, Linda’s next position came quickly. When she and Kathy were out celebrating her new job, they reflected on the journey and realized an even bigger opportunity existed—they could use their combined experience to help others. The volume of career resources out there could be overwhelming to job seekers, and many looking to change careers just didn’t know where to start. Plus, there weren’t resources available for people in mid-career who had achieved success but wanted to rethink their professional lives and make themselves a priority.
Both passionate about mentoring and coaching colleagues throughout their careers, Linda and Kathy decided to channel that energy and create the resources themselves. For two years, the pair plodded away every Tuesday night at a coffee shop after working their day jobs. Their mission: To let women know they can achieve their personal and professional goals by slowing down to reflect and giving themselves time and space to realize their potential. Finally, in January 2017 they self-published “Gōl: A Curated Guide for the Modern Day Job Hunt.” More than a book of career advice, Linda and Kathy created a workbook designed to help each reader set career goals and make an actionable plan to accomplish them.
Linda and Kathy envision “Gōl” as much more—they’re aiming to bring the message to as many women as possible that it’s never too late to invest in yourself and make a career change. That’s why the two also founded their own company, Shift & Spark, to help women shift their mindset and spark new ideas. Through the organization, they are creating a community and sharing the message of their book.
The two continue to take their own career advice, staying focused on growing Shift & Spark while continuing to work full-time day jobs . They’re living with purpose and practicing what they preach, with a plan that helps guide their next steps, every step of the way.
To learn more about Linda and Kathy’s business and book, visit ShiftAndSpark.com.
Photo: Kylee Leonetti for My Founder Story
About the author: Stef Tschida is a former corporate communicator and lifelong storyteller. Stef’s WHY became clear when she worked at her daily campus newspaper. She realized she didn’t want to ask tough questions as a reporter—she wanted to help organizations answer those tough questions. She’s been doing that work ever since.